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T20 WC: ‘It’s got to do with the balance of the team’, says Moody on Rinku’s omission from India squad

New Delhi, May 3: On Rinku Singh’s surprising omission from India’s 15-member squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup, Tom Moody, the former Australia all-rounder, thinks it happened mainly due to the balance of the team, where they needed another spin-bowling all-rounder in Axar Patel.

Rinku has played 15 T20Is for India since his debut last year. He has majorly excelled as a finisher, by scoring 356 runs at a strike rate of 176.23. But in IPL 2024, he hasn’t got ample batting opportunities for Kolkata Knight Riders – making 123 runs off 82 balls in eight innings coming in the lower middle-order at a strike rate of 150. Rinku, though, is included in India’s traveling reserves for the T20 World Cup.

“With Rinku Singh, I don’t think it matters how many runs he gets for the rest of the IPL. It’s got to do with the balance of the Indian side, and Ajit Agarkar was actually really clear in the way he explained it. It’s just got to do with the balance of the sides. And Rinku Singh has been left out purely because they wanted the extra all-rounder in Axar Patel to give them flexibility around that number seven position.

“And also the option of playing three spinners. It’s got nothing else to do with that because, you know, he’s up against Dubey. Dubey gives you the option of someone who can bowl medium pace as a sixth bowling option. And you need the two keepers. You can’t leave out any of the top order. You’re not leaving out Jaiswal, you’re not leaving out Rohit, you’re not leaving out Virat. So there’s just no room,” said Moody on Star Sports.

After addressing Wednesday’s press conference alongside chief selector Ajit Agarkar, Rohit was seen communicating with Rinku at the Wankhede Stadium during the practice session of KKR ahead of its clash against Mumbai Indians on Friday.

“That is great leadership by Rohit Sharma. Making sure you’re upfront, honest, and speaking to players, it’s easier to speak to someone when they’re included in the side. It’s always hard speaking to someone that’s been left out, particularly under those circumstances.”

“So that’s why Rohit Sharma is so highly regarded around the playing group, is that he is a very, very good leader. And he’s got those soft skills, which are so important around communication,” added Moody.

India have opted to take a spin-heavy bowling lineup in their World Cup squad, comprising Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, due to the slow conditions expected to pan out in the West Indies and the USA.

“I think they are taking spinners because they think spin is going to win. And it gives them the balance of not worrying about playing six out of seven specialist bowlers and batters. It allows them to play an all-rounder spinner, in Axar Patel and Jadeja and Kuldeep as a spin strong playing 11,” concluded Moody.

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